Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Guest Post: The Fever That Keeps on Growing

Today's post is from Becky, from Love Everyday Life. I love her for her gratuitous compliments. Kidding. Ok, not really. I do love compliments.

Hi everyone! Becky from Love Everyday Life here. When Shannon emailed me asking if I wanted to guest blog I was positively giddy. I found her blog through her guest room re-design and since then I've been hooked. She's hilarious, the crafts and designs she does are ah-ma-zing, and oh yeah, she's totally an adorable pregnant woman. I love all these things about her but her being pregnant allows me to live vicariously through her because I have a bad case of baby fever.

I didn't think it would happen to me. In fact, when my husband and I were engaged people would joke about me getting the baby fever after a year or two. I remember being downright offended by the implication that I would desire kids more than anything, and I indignantly informed them it would be at least five years before I even thought about children. Well, almost three years into marriage and I'm honing in on babies everywhere I go. (Ah, how I love being wrong).

I visit this parenting site a couple times a week - in my defense it was to follow Erin and Chrissy there (they stopped blogging for Glamour and I wanted to keep reading their stuff), but since I'm over there I figure I'll read the pregnancy blog as well. (What? I'm learning!) I know who Sophie is, I'm aware of the difference between mucus plugs and bloody show, and when I see fat little baby legs I can almost feel my ovaries aching. (Rolls above the knees? Adorable!) Oh, have I mentioned I'm NOT pregnant?

I can't help it - it's literally like someone flipped a switch and I really have to make an effort to not think about babies or pregnancy. Thank goodness my husband is fabulous and mellow - and he answers my "babe, what do you think of this name?" questions patiently (and with a sense of humor). I wouldn't say he has baby fever, but we've been talking about it more lately so even he will point out babies and little kids to me when we're out. (Going to the grocery store now is quite the ordeal).

It's not the right time for us yet - I know, I know, it'll never be the "right" time, but we're in a teeny tiny apartment (I'm talking 684 square feet people), and we're just getting back on our feet after months of not great job stability due to the economy. But I take comfort in the fact that this isn't just a passing phase - the thought of having a child and watching it grow from a baby to a toddler, to an eight-year old, to a teen, and beyond? It melts my heart.

Our time will come, I know. Until then, I'll live vicariously through the awesome-ness of people like Shannon. (Hope you don't mind).

What about you? Have you ever had (or currently have) baby fever, or is that just not your thing? Anyone else out there like me who swore they'd never be this way and is now eating their words?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Guest Post: Once-Glorious Bastards, Part Deux

Today's post is from my friend Katie. I love her for her awesomely clever blog titles.

Well….herrrooo. It’s Shanny’s friend Katie. Now that Shannon is “knee-deep in placenta” (her words, not mine, hence, the quotes), I thought I would give you an update (9 months later) on how things turned out with my cut glass extravaganza.

This is now where Shannon inserts a link to the first episode of this story for those of you who didn’t read it or don’t remember my last stint as guest blogger.

Okay, did you read it? So, does “expensive” always mean “better”? Hells no. Extravagant pretense need not apply. There is a reason we got married the day after Thanksgiving. Fall is by FAR my favorite time of year. Slap together some flannel, fireplaces, a Stephen King New England kind of day (minus the rabid dog or killer car), falling leaves, and some pumpkins and I’m in heaven.

No, but seriously, I absolutely LOVE the feeling that Fall conjures. Knowing you will be seeing friends and family soon to celebrate nothing but the simple fact that we have each other, the smell of burning leaves, my Mom and Nanny’s birthdays, the smell of winter coming, the amazing feeling you get from coming in from the cold to a warm home, candles lit, the smell of hot food, familiar voices in the kitchen, snuggled on the couch with pets and a good read. You get the picture. Well, these are the feelings that I wanted our wedding day to inspire in our guests. The venue was an old farmhouse. It would make calla lilies or four foot tall centerpieces with colored water look ridiculous. In the right setting those things can be gorgeous, but it wasn’t my bag, baby.

So…the fruits of our labor? How did they turn out?

I remember being outside in the freezing cold while we waited to take some outside photographs, having yet to go indoors, and one of my bridesmaids telling me to look at the reception hall through the glass doors. I was FLOORED. It was exactly what I had imagined. The little farmhouse and barn-like reception hall were very dimly lit, and the cut glass that we had collected for months were all flickering and aglow EVERYWHERE. It was exactly what I wanted. In fact, even though I had an amazing photographer, I don’t think the photograph of the room can even really do justice to the way the room looked. But, that image is ingrained in my memory forever.

The cost? Dried wheat, at about $7 a bushel, cut glass (about $1-5 dollars per vase and no more than 25 cents a “votive”), the free enormous pinecones from a tree in my neighborhood, miniature pumpkins and gourds used as placecards at 25 cents each. Total cost per table was about $12-15. Boo ya.

And, what to do with all of that cut glass? Well give it away as favors of course! I made an announcement before the dancing got started that when the night was over, we’d have packing paper and bags for people to grab anything they wanted. And boy did they ever. It was actually kind of comical the way people were scooping things up. It certainly saved me the trouble of having a ridiculous amount of cut glass to pack and then get rid of. My only “regret” is that I forgot to mention that a few of the vases were marked with a small red dot on the bottom that would denote that it was special to me and/or my Mom, and to please leave it. Yeah… kind of forgot that. Oh well, hopefully they are out there somewhere, bringing a guest some joy with fresh flowers or something. And even if it’s not, it had its day to shine… literally.

I may also come back to share with you the lil beaut that’s being cooked up in Michigan for Andy and me. I had the idea that I wanted our guests to sign fabric squares so that I could have them made into a quilt. I “met” Madison via Etsy and I got word from her not too long ago that it should be done soon and on its way to Philadelphia. I cannot wait to see it. Check out Madison’s work. This aint yo Grandma’s quilting.

No grandmothers were harmed during the making of these centerpieces. They willingly sold their goods…most of the time.

Real life exchange I had with the granddaughter of one of these Grannies at a yard sale…

Me- How much for this vase?

Lady - $10

Me- Oh, well, if you’re willing to part with it for $1, I am going to use it at my wedding reception but I can’t afford to pay $10 because I have a budget.

Lady( visibly miffed that I would suggest a dollar sale price)- Um… no…that was my grandmother’s vase and it’s been in our family for years.

Me – And now you’re selling it at a yard sale…so…

I didn’t get the vase.

(Photo credits to Vantage Pictures.)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Guest Post: Favorites on Friday

Today's post comes from Shannon, from Project Shannon. I love her for not only her name but her eerily similar tastes in blog fodder.

Hi there friends – it’s Shannon {not that Shannon} from the blog Project Shannon. When
Shannon asked me to guest blog for her, while she’s out playing mom – I was tickled excited! At first I thought maybe she was just trying to find a “stand in” Shannon, but she assured me that’s not true!

Typically I spend Fridays highlighting one of my favorites {product, book, clothing, etc} – and today is no different! Today's Favorites on Friday post is not only a favorite of mine now, but also when I was a teen. When I was younger, like so many teenage girls, I was totally in love with horses. I wanted to grow up, live on a farm, and just ride horses all day. Granted, this was totally impracticable, given that I had not factored in any monetary means to accomplish this care-free lifestyle...but that's beside the point. Alas, my riding lessons stopped when I went off to college, but I still love the look and feel of everything equestrian.

And with fall right round the corner {for real, it will be here before you know it – at
least up here in Massachusetts}, it's a great time to get some equestrian inspiration.

Badgley Mischka home via Elle Decor
Badgley Mischka home via Elle Decor

Badgley Mischka home via Elle Decor

Ralph Lauren ad, via Simplified Bee

I love how these show such a rich color pallet of greens, orange, and tans. Maybe I should take my own advice, and deck out my office in this look? I think with some imagination, it could really work.

Here's a few decor pieces that will help you create this look in your home .

Ralph Lauren Glen Plaid Bedding, Hook Lady Brass Horse Hook, Pottery Barn Cast Iron Horse Hook, Pottery Barn Rustic Mirror, Urban Archaeology Club House Light, Ralph Lauren Leather Tray, Pottery Barn Burlap Frames, Ralph Lauren Bedford Throw, Ralph Lauren Adriana pillow, Art.com Vintage Hunt Poster, Art.com Polo Saddle print, RL Stanton Vase, Restoration Hardware Waste Basket

Or if you prefer to showcase the equestrian look in your wardrobe, here are a few items for you as well.

I don't know about you, but it brings me back to my teenage years, and my total adoration for all things equestrian. Happy Friday everyone and thanks Shannon for having me today! Good luck with your newest addition!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Guest Post: Snap back to Reality, Oh There Goes Gravity

Today's post comes from my buddy Sarah, from Let's Eat some Candy. I love her because she's a wierd-beard. And because she knows I love calling friends wierd-beards.

Hey! Shannon! Thanks for having me visit while you’re having a Blinky baby.

Hello new blog friends! Shannon asked me to come up with something fun to entertain y’all while she has the little one. Although my bud Shan and I share a VERY similar sense of humor, my taste in just about everything else couldn’t be farther from hers…let me rephrase that- she has a great sense of d├ęcor, a refined taste with clean lines, smart pattern pairings and can do it all on a dime.

The girl is motivated. I’m lazy. I suffer from decorating ADD. And, let’s not forget my post-college diva’s lair furnished with everything and anything either purple, red or leopard I could find. I’ve come to a conclusion that my sense of style is more of a sickness since at the ripe old age of 30 I STILL cannot part with my fuzzy leopard folding chair and my 5” leopard heels.


So, I was sitting around last night with my dearest TBone tossing around ideas what to write about…should I talk about finding great yoga deals and steals? Nah…I’ll save that for later. How about how deeeeelishoush my little boy is? Maybe some other time. What about how helpful my husband is by finding new and inventive ways how to redecorate our living room?



While I was thinking about a topic- the TV was on in the background. We were flipping between the Phillies getting slaughtered by LA and some junk on the History Channel. I noticed all of the commercials for upcoming reality shows in the fall.

The first one I saw was Cupcake Wars. OK- sure there’s a TV show already for not one cake show, but two…but technically, cup cakes are a little different and they’re focusing on cup cake staging and design and it’s more of a competition and less of a follow-around-wacky-bakers-with-a-camera…so sure! Let’s have a new show.

Then…I saw a commercial for Spike’s Scrappers- a joint about some dudes straight outta Brooklyn (whose van is SPRAY PAINTED with the word SCRAPPER on the side- way to break the budget, Spike!) who troll around searching for scrap metal to sell in the Bronx. Ehh…probably NOT going to watch this, but hey, it’s interesting enough, I suppose.

Then…House Wives of DC… seriously Salahis? Beat it.

So the wheels started spinning- just how many reality TV shows are there that I’m (gratefully) missing?

Here are a few lists to get you started:

 How did I miss Liza and David, btw?

 Can’t wait to writhe in self-loathing by checking out I HATE my 30s!

Nice new weave, Jackie!

Hows about the Discovery Channel?
Which one of these things don’t belong here? is playing in my head as I peruse this list… Life. The Ultimate Car Build-Off. Man vs. Wild…and CASH CAB!? How does that fit?


It makes me want to pitch a new show to someone, anyone to break the cycle I’m in and get rich. Seriously, if Brat Camp or Can You Duet? can make the cut- or the show that started it all Cops is on it’s 2,220 episode, I think I can come up with something.

...I’m just not sure anyone is going to want to watch my show Delusions of Grandeur while I try to make a full time living as a yogaVlogger with a crappy webcam and lackluster editing skills...or a show about a leopard print collector- but now that I think of it, there’s already a show for that- and I’m pretty sure it’s called Hoarders. Eeeek!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Guest Post: Learning to Live on Less

 Today's post is courtesy of Claire of A Peachtree City Life. I love her for her use of Chris Farley quotes. You'll see what I mean below.

I'm so excited to be sharing a lil somethin here on Shannanigans, as she enjoys long blog ramblings as much as I do. And she's hilarious. And her house is drool-worthy. And I just know her baby is going to be awesome! Anyway...

As I haven't spraypainted anything of interest recently (one of my favorite hobbies - and probably one of yours as well), I thought I would share something else that's been in the works in my life these days, and will certainly be affecting Shannon too now that Blink is in the picture and she's starting her new job that requires 24 hour work days and pays a hefty salary of $0....(that's annually, before taxes, if you were wondering).

Learning to live on less, but gaining more in return...

My husband Tony and I have been married for three years, and we both have good jobs, don't have a ton of cash but have plenty to live comfortably, luckily don't have debt (besides the biggies - car and house - we aren't perfect, you know) etc. We already were living a relatively modest lifestyle, but weren't saving nearly as much as we knew we could/wanted to. We bought a lot of things we didn't need - things we didn't really get that much value out of.
So we put our lives on paper - and categorized by necessity and want. We were able to cut our cable (adios HD and DVR...my dear friends), reduce our cell phone plan, cut our gym membership (which I was totally using every. single. day. ...of course...), and trim a few other necessities. Things we had previously seen as "required" were now relegated to "things we could do without - for a good reason - like saving a boatload of money." We laid out a fairly strict cash system for all of our non-bill expenses (more on that here).

We are indeed saving a boatload of money each month.

But the point of all this is that I was dreading our adoption of a savings plan. I was convinced I would pull my hair out without being able to DVR Jersey Shore each week, or be able to ellipticalize myself at a moment's notice. I didn't think I could bear having to switch to generic coffee creamer.

Four months into this now, I can honestly say that it's one of the best decisions we've made as a couple. Sure - our exact plan isn't a fit for everyone and where they are at in their life. But I discovered an amazing thing that could apply to people in many places in life - and here's where my "I live in a van down by the river motivational speaker" self comes out - the old cliche Less is More - really is kinda true.

I'll let that sink in.....

Ok, so it's not that hard of a concept. But in my defense, it's taken a while for it to really hit home for me, for me to really appreciate it.

Tony and I spend more time now doing things besides being glued to the TV, or wasting hours and dollars in the aisles of Target... I make time to do crafty, irrelevant relaxing things. We get nerdy excited using coupons. We take our dogs on a long walk every night - gratuitous adorable dog photo below:

It's almost a relief to not feel tied down by things, by the need to make more and more money to buy more and more stuff. It's much more rewarding to save for something before buying it, and to hunt out a bargain, or spraypaint a Goodwill find, than it is to fill a shopping cart full of brand new junk we don't need (unless it's from Ikea, that's a different matter! Or, in Shannon's case, unless it's ANY adorable baby item, particularly one with footies - those suckers are irresistible!).

I'm happier, and it's showing. I'm beginning to sort out in my head what really matters and what really makes me happy. This whole spring and summer I have been moving towards focusing on thriving in life, as opposed to simply surviving it. For me, life is about love, it's about happiness, it's about laughing. I had lost sight of that and I was feeling the loss. Saving money isn't the magic answer, but for me, it was a push to something bigger. (I swear I don't spend my time reading self-help books...)

Something as simple as cutting out unnecessary spending in our lives has started me down the path towards trying to find true happiness. My advice (unsolicited! yay for you!) is to think about what's tying you down or holding you back - and to find a way to free yourself of that. Whether it's nixing your unlimited data plan, or spending more time doing something you feel truly passionate about - do it. Life is worth it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Guest Post: Lizzie's Wedding Oh-No-You-Didn'ts

Today's post is from LizzieBeth, from Lizzie in Progress. I love her for her sass. She should have been a cover model for the old magazine Sassy. I also like to just say the word sassy.

Hi everyone, I'm Lizzie! I am so excited to be a guest blogger while Shannon pops out that little bambino, but I confess I'm also a little nervous. I feel like this is kinda when you borrow someones car you and you drive 15 miles under the speed limit because you don't want to blow a stop sign or side-swipe a parked delivery truck (not that I've done that... um... yeah...). So anyway, hop on in my ride and be a good co-pilot while I take this Shannanigans for a test drive!

About a month ago I got married to my best friend, JEGs. Yay! In the 9 months of wedding immersion planning, I've come across a couple trends that I think are either incredibly dumb, or are totally over done. So, since I am experience some post-wedding letdown, I'll talk more about wedding stuff. 'Cause I can.

#8 Candy buffet

At what point did cake not become enough of a dessert? I've also seen the rise of "milk and cookie buffets" with shots of milk being served. I don't know about you, but weddings are for drinking - the thought of milk and wine makes my stomach turn.

#7. Damask

For the love of all things holy, can we just let this ship sail already?? I get it- in 2006 damask became all sorts of "classy". Suddenly EVERYTHING has the damask pattern on it: cakes, napkins, ribbons, candles... even toilet paper ( I kid you not, google that ish). I think trends should go no longer then five years, so this is my thought:, if you are getting married next month and have a damask "theme" that's I'll let it go. But if you are planning your wedding for a year from now, you are going to be on the ass end of this trend.
#6 Signature Drinks

I don't even really understand the point of these. Are you expecting your guest to forgo their beer and wine for some overly sugary, syrup drink? I really appreciate the little details in weddings, but I think you get to a point where you have over thought everything. ..and don't get me started on the cutesy names- I'm pretty sure my guests had a good time without having a "Lizzitini" or a "JEGshatten".

#5. The Surprise Wedding Dance.

Jill and Kevin were innovative. You aren't. End of story.

#4. Butterfly Release

I understand all brides think their day is the most spectacular wedding ever planned. I get it, I really do. However, it's not so spectacular that you need to trap a bunch of winged bugs, raise them in an unnatural habitat and then release them in some fake nature-inspired moment. And P.S... they are usually dead by the time you get around to releasing them. Good job, killer.
#3. Mini TopHats.

What the EFF is this anyway? I can understand the groom wearing one if you are from the Victorian Era, or British. But the bride? And shrunken?? Maybe I'm super traditional (or rational) but I don't see the appeal of the haute couture look. I would rather see a birdcage veil (which I think should be going the way of the damask soon) instead.

#2. Dog (or Cat) Ring Bearers.

I'm not a fan of putting clothes on an animal in the first place, and I find the idea of putting a tux on your dog a little ridiculous. Plus, I have this horror of what-if you dog needs to relieve himself during the ceremony-- then what?

#1. Bridezillas

I HATE this term with a passion. I spent a good portion of my wedding planning walking on eggshells because I didn't want people to think I was the dreaded B-word. Just because a bride wants something a certain way, doesn't means she's a bridezilla. Wedding planning is stressful! Unless she is flipping tables and insulting family members, don't drop the word. She might just be having a bad day.

There you have it.. my top 8 most annoying wedding trends of 2010. Don't you feel like a better person now that you've read this?


Monday, August 23, 2010

From the Desk of the Secretary of Labor

Hey guys! Thanks for all your sweet comments on my little buddy Gabriel. We're still getting used to each other and the insane lack of sleep is making me loopy. So until I can muster up a coherent blog post, I'm turning the blog over to some trusted peeps. Today I hand the keys to Shannanigans over to my amazing husband who got me through the whole process and kept vigorous notes of the labor process. This post will probably only interest those who have or will be going through it and is here mostly for posterity. The rest of the week will be a selection of my fave bloggers and a bunch of random topics. So thanks again for visiting, tons more pics to come of course! And hi to the de-lurked lurkers out there, it's nice to know who you are!

Prelude to a Birth

Prior to the induction date, Shannon asked me to document the birth for posterity. Of course, I forgot. Here we are driving to the hospital sans pen and paper/notepad (I'm so old school). After a moment of panic, I realized that I do own a Blackberry and imagine that...it has a memo pad feature. For those of you that do not know me, my name is John, I am an accountant and tend to cover details to the minutiae. I should be in treatment, but denial is easier. She has allowed me to blog the story to all of you (please now picture Shannon cringing in a state of total fear).

Anyway, back to the story. Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., when we settled in at the hospital, we realized that at the end of this process we will be leaving here with a baby. Upon the initial exam the doctor said that she was only a cm dilated and her cervix hadn't thinned at all. We were in it for the long haul and I had to get down to business. I needed to channel Shannon so that I wouldn't miss all those adorbs moments. While she was otherwise preoccupied, I took these pics to suprise her with after the birth was completed.

Tiny hat, enough said.
The time was close to noon when she started having contractions. The contractions were 2.5 to 5 minutes apart. My naive optimism was dashed at 5:45 p.m. when the exam showed that she was still 1 cm dialated; however she was 70% effaced. Progress. At this point the nurse wanted her to start walking. In pain, she reluctantly agreed. The birth center was busy and when we walked outside the room we noticed that there were four carts set up staged with birthing kits. Boredom earlier in the day led me to read the kit in our room. Naturally I started reciting most of the items in the kit along with the fact that there were 20 cotton balls (yes this is the kind of thing I was referring to in the first paragraph).

Anyway, as we walked down the hall we started to wonder what would happen if either one of the cotton balls fell on the floor or the birth needed 21. Hence, Code White Fluff came into being. We pictured births screeching to a halt because the doctor ran out of cotton balls. Sounds of "Code White Fluff!" over the hospital intercom.  Naturally, I wondered how much the hospital would charge for that extra cotton ball. The estimates were scary. We were both in hysterics, yes it was funny at the time and it was good for her to laugh.

Unfortunately she did not progress the remainder of the evening. Overnight was when the fun began. I begged for the narcotic and benedryl cocktail that the nurses gave to her to sleep and I was denied. Instead of a nice drug induced coma that my wife spent the night in, I was waking up every hour when one alarm after another kept going off. The IV for various reasons, Shannon's monitor for her blood pressure (taken every 20 minutes to half hour) and the no graph paper alarm. It got to the point where I would hear the blood pressure kick on and just pray that it would be okay so I could fall back asleep.

The good news was that her drug induced state worked because she didn't wake up until her water broke at 4:45 a.m. Once her water broke the Cervidil was removed. The bad news was that the further away she was from the Cervidil the slower the contractions became, therefore at 9:45 a.m. her doctor started her on Pitocen in order to stimulate the contractions. After all this she was still only 2 cm. Slow...slow...progress. The Pitocen was administered around 10:15 a.m. along with her second dose of the amazing narcotic cocktail that I am not allowed to share. We fall asleep until her mother arrives at 11. Don't get me wrong, I love her mother, I always want to see her mother, but for the love of God - I JUST WANT TO SLEEP!

Anywho (had to throw in one), the Pitocen worked and her contraction became approximately 2.5-3 minutes apart. The worrying news was that she was only approximately 3 cm dialated. Worrying because this was probably the worst afternoon of my life. I don't think I have ever felt more helpless or emotionally hurt so bad. Not only was the Pitocen causing the contractions to worsen over the course of the afternoon, but her blood pressure was being taken every twenty minutes. Usually the blood pressure was being taken at the same time a contraction was occuring. If you haven't had experience with these automatic beauties here it is in a nutshell, the machine monitors fetal heartrate, contractions (Toco) and mother's blood pressure.

Yeah...so...big deal, well because her blood pressure was elevated and she would involuntarily move slighly during the contractions the blood pressure machine would clamp down on her arm (by the way, it was on the same arm as her IV). In other words, her hand/fingers were purple, her IV would burn and after the cuff was removed there were marks. I believe, due to the drugs, the contractions were so bad frankly I can't believe the bedrail was still mounted on the bed. Approximately 5 p.m. she was ready to throw in the towel. My heart was tearing in half. The nurse said that she should go to the bathroom, naturally she resisted because SHE COULDN'T WALK. It took us about 5 minutes just to get to the bathroom. It felt like there was a contraction every two steps.

No sooner did she get there than the anesthesiologist appeared and she nearly cut off his head. Basically there was a privacy issue and at this point she just wanted to be left alone. More gross stuff - she lost the mucous plug and upon later examination she was 4 cm dialated and fully effaced. A few other developments occured at this time. First she developed a low grade fever that ended up between 100 to a high of 100.8 and second the anesthesiologist reviewed her case and he believed that he may be able to give her an epidural. From Satan to Saviour in alittle under 30 seconds. She received the epidural and eventually it took. She looked a 100% better immediately. THANK GOD!

Now that she was feel much better I evaluated my own situation. For as well as we planned for Shannon I planned as poorly for myself. I was in the same clothes for two days, needed to shave, needed to eat, needed to shower, needed to recharge emotionally and needed to check on the prince of the household (the cat). Since she was feeling better and still only 4 cm along, I thought that I would leave around 8 and I told her that I would be back around 10. When I leave the house just before 10, Shannon tells me that the doctor will be in at 10 for an exam. I told her that I would be back in about 15 minutes. Upon signing in at the nurses station, I asked the doctor how she was doing and he said that he would let her tell me the news. I fell through the floor...after all this...I missed it. He told me that she did not have it yet. I am still exhausted here, totally not cool (funny after the fact yes, not cool at the time). As I walked to the room I saw the cart set up outside, so I knew it had to be close. When I walked in she said that she was at 10 cm and that she was going to start pushing in about an hour.

At 10:50 the contractions begin. Picture this...remember I have been assigned to document...I am on her right side supporting/holding her right leg with my right hand (FYI to any guys out there...don't drop it when setting it back on the bed...not good..it was an accident and she didn't feel it anyway), I am taking notes on the BlackBerry with the left hand, watching what is going on and giving her words of encouragement at the same time.

 Luckily the time between contractions increases during the pushing phase so I had time for notes, there was also alot of waiting for the next one to start. This did make for some awkward moments with us just standing, watching and waiting. I would say 12 out of the 20 minutes were spent waiting for the next contraction to begin. Another thing about me, I do not like needles and the thought of being cut/cutting doesn't work so well in the brain. Therefore I say, I know this may be a little late, but what is your viewpoint on performing an episiotomy. He said that he would perform it only if necessary and he would know when the head starts to crown. At which point I let him know that if it needed to be done to please warn me ahead of time. Did not need to be his second patient. Thankfully we did not have to address the question again. In my defense, this was the first time I had ever seen the man in my life. He was the doctor on call from a different practice. Must give him props, he was very nice, explained everything and was very professional.

The baby was almost starting to crown after the first contraction, crowning after the second, head out after the third, and shoulders cleared with the rest of the body on the fourth. I got to tell her that it was a boy. I think we had to tell her three times because she was convinced that it was going to be a girl. This was probably one of the most amazing moments of my life. It is about 4 days later and I still can't believe it. At this point my job is completed and will turn further documentation over to Shannon.

Final Thoughts: I do believe that the pain level was amplified due to the induction. To any expectant mothers out there (Hi KP!), make sure that you both pack for the long haul. 2-3 sets of cloths for the hospital and one for home.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Don't Think You're Ready for This Belly

Click to enlarge...if you dare.

There she is folks, in all her glory...Blink's home for the past 10 months. I was hesitant to take pictures in the beginning so I didn't do it until I started noticing a bump, around Week 15.  And man, I remember thinking I was ha-uuuuuge in the early 20s weeks. Silly girl.  I also missed a few weeks here and there. Boo hoo. So here are my observations:

-I totally forgot about Week 16's shirt. I really like it and am pumped to wear it again. It'll be like getting new clothes!

-I'd give anything to look like Week 17 right now.

-Week 23 was my first official maternity shirt and I remember thinking how long it was and considering shortening it. Ha. If you look at Week 36, that shirt is creeping right on up. Good thing I left it alone.

-Old Navy t-shirts saved my almost non-existant maternity clothes budget.

-Week 37 was a dress I picked up at Old Navy that week. I didn't want to spend $25 so late in the game but it was cute and I had a party to go to, so I did. I've been living in it, super comfy.

-It's amazing a difference a month makes these days. Week 35's shirt is being stretched to the limit this week at Week 40. And it's not even maternity.

-I think it's pretty clear when I "dropped". Between Weeks 37 & 38, Blink took a nosedive towards my pelvis and it's been aching like a mofo ever since.

-I love how my skintone remained constantly pale from February through August. Just another sign that I barely left my house. Thanks hottest-July-on-record, you were a bitch. And you're right behind her, August.

-Wedding rings came off around Week 38. I didn't want to, for fear of looking like a knocked-up hussy (No offense to my knocked-up hussy readers out there) but it had to be done.

So I'm done. Week 41 will bring with it either a) a baby or b) a baby via induction. The next belly shot will be with me pointing to stretchmarks and flibby flab, telling Blink that he or she "did this to me!!!" We might want to keep that one private though.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

M-ommmmmm! I'm Borrrredd!!

Confession: Even modified bedrest is starting to get boring. There's only so much TV I can watch, internets I can read and counters to wipe down. I've gone and met John for lunch a few times and of course, the dr appts break up the week but man, I need somethin to do! Here's how I've been spending my week.

Cue Brookie's blog. Her custom coloring books put me in the mood to color. So off to Target I went to pick up this ahhhsum lil Hello Kitty coloring book and a box of 64 Crayola crayons. My mama says I'm a real good colorer.

Ok, I lied when I said there's only so much internetting you can do. Although sometimes it feels like you've gotten to the end of it, there's always more to look at. Like this.

My Milk Toof are the stories of ickle and Lardee. It is positively genius. And may make your day.

Then when you're going through the checkout at Target and are susceptible to impulse purchases, this treat may end up on the conveyor belt. And it may be the most delicious thing you've ever tasted. Sure, it may be Germany's best biscuit covered in chocolate, but it says Sport! This is clearly a health-snack.
Finally, I gave in and bought this book. Apparently it's all the rage these days. I'm praying one of you has read it and can convince me to continue reading past the first 15 pages and not return it to Target. There's an awful lotta talk about flowers in the first chapter and I'm not sure how much more I can take.

So there you go. You might as well have spent the week with me since you know everything I've been doing.  It's impossibly exciting. What else should I be doing?
I know, I know, have this baby already. I know that's why you're here. I'll be sure to pass your message along to my uterus.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fisher Price 'My First Moodboard'

I know, I know, everyone thinks they can design a room these days. See the show Design Star for evidence. Buncha jokers. Anywho, because the new Ikea catalog showed up in my mailbox and because my friend Sarah asked for my help, I made a little room design. She wants to stage a room in her house as a guest room since she is kicking around the idea of putting it on the market. But she also wants to use it as a yoga studio for her new venture. So using the existing sky blue walls, I decided to run with different shades of blue. The clay-orange accent color ties in the hardwood floors.  The yoga part is merely the candles and plants. Just tell's you how much I know bout yogaOther than that, I think I mentioned I'm a sucker for Ikea storage so every room should have some. So whaddya say? I should quit my day job? Sit home and cut and paste pictures? Done and done.

Monday, August 9, 2010


No baby yet, guys. Not that I expected the baby to show up on his or her due date, in fact, I always expected the opposite. Everyone knows that first time moms have to wait a week or so after their due date to meet their babes. So I never took the August 7 date for fact, so that I wouldn't be disappointed.  But I was. Sorta.

As much as I've complained about pregnancy not being my favorite thing in the world, I've kinda gotten used to it. So even though I can barely walk around without my pelvis creaking, the alternative to having an inside baby is even more terrifying. An outside baby. That I'm responsible for. It's the strangest feeling, sitting around, waiting. Waiting for something to happen. Waiting for the thing that will change my life forever.  Was that the baby stretching or was it a contraction? Was that a real contraction or a fake one? I have no idea what it's supposed to feel like. Is it gonna happen today? Tonight? Is my hair clean? Is my water gonna break? Can I get some sort of sign here?

Unfortunately, the last free weekends before Blinky shows up weren't filled with me-n-John adventures, or even last big date nights out. It's too hot out. My clothes don't fit anymore. I'm ready for a nap before the waitress can even drop the check off. I'm not too fun right now. So we wait together. Quality time, if you will.  Catching up on Jersey Shore, Anthony Bourdain, Kill Bill movies...whatever's on.  Eating yummy snacks like soft pretzels and chocolate milk so that if it happens soon, and I go on the all ice-chip diet, at least my last meal will have been a good one. 

So here I wait, trying to treasure the lying on the couch time, just the two of us. And somehow, craving that moment when we know this thing's happening. The decision to call the doctor.  The grabbing of the bags. The drive to the hospital. The labor. I know it's gonna suck but I want it anyway. The phone calls. The footprints. Those first moments that go by in a blur. The feedings. The visitors. The moment when it's no longer just the two of us. All of it. I want all of these things. In the meantime, I'll just take this one last nap.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Flashback Friday - I Dream of Jeannie Edition

So we've all seen my newest guest room makeover but what you haven't seen is my very first guest room makeover. When I first moved into John's bachelor pad back in '04, I was as green as they come interior-design wise. It was like someone got me all hopped up on classic coke and a high credit limit and set me loose inside Pier One. I needed to have a Moroccan-themed room and ohhhhh did I get one.  I think John may have actually choked when I cracked open the paint can to reveal this...

The magic bubbles weren't really real and I have no idea how the photo turned out that way.

And he may have had a slight heart attack when I explained how I wanted to drape the extra long Ikea sheer curtains across the ceiling. But he let me run wild.  If there was a Moroccan lantern within a 25 mile radius to be had, I had it. And for all it's theme-y-ness, I loved the crap out of that room. And I know my guests did too. Ya know why? Mostly because the blue walls kept the room cool and dark and somehow, back in those days, most of my guests were hungover. A cool and dark room to the hungover is almost as good as the fountain Coke and greasy cheeseburger the next day.

Anyway, when we decided to move to a new house, the end of the Moroccan room was inevitable.  We knew it was going to have to be painted. The dreaded neutral.  So the walls became cream and Morocco got all boxed up.  And we moved. So while it might be a far stretch from my taste in interiors now, it'll always be my first makeover and ohhh was it a good one.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Aloha from...Delaware?

 If you're new around here, I should probably let you know that last summer I created a "Pre-Baby Bucket List". I knew I wanted to try to get pregnant last fall so last summer was going to be my be-all, end-all of boozin' and good times. I planned a couple little things I wanted to do that I knew wouldn't be as fun with a kid in tow. And since I knew the power of the blog, I put it out there and got it done. First we went to the Jersey shore to watch the sun come up, then a trip to the Yuengling brewery, than eating crabs on the Chesapeake in Maryland then we wrapped up the summer with a freaking bang with our first trip to Hawaii. Pretty effing amazing summer. But it was in Hawaii that I found yet another food group that I learned I could not live without: Shave Ice.

If you've had the real stuff then you know what I'm talking about, complete with the condensed milk topping. Oh mah. To die for. When we left Hawaii, we talked it up real big saying how we should open a shave ice joint in our area. I mean, we've got water (pronounced wood-er) ice and that's nothing to mess with, but this shizz is the shizz. Completely different from water ice and like nothing you can get around here.

So imagine our surprise when a couple of our buddies who live in the Small Wonder state, the 1st state...Delaware, tell us that there is a Shave Ice truck that hangs out in 2 random locations and that the stuff is gooood. They take us. We are immediately happy.

They've got all the good flavors and the ice is shaven *almost* as fine as the real deal.  But they don't offer condensed milk. So for that reason, they get 4 out of 5 stars.

John got a cherry and guava mix.
I got half Pina Colada and half Maui Wowee.

So if you're local North Delawarians and need to get your hands on Delaware's best attempt at Shave Ice, this little truck can usually be found at the bowling alley across from Price's Corner or down the street a bit at the Y. I love their rando locations because it's an adventure merely trying to find them. And your reward for locating them is the above. Worth it.


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